I wrote this post over a year ago on my old blog. A YEAR AGO. I identified these problems a year ago and still have not done enough to solve them.
*Hangs head in shame*
I have been home for the past five days because of Hurricane Sandy. It’s been nice being able to spend so much time at home and with the kids (really, I’m not being sarcastic). Of course, every night when they have gone to bed I have spent many hours reading, knitting, and playing on the internet. I actually started about 5 different blog posts as well, but something made me want to spend more time on this one today. On one of my MANY Pinterest visits I came across an article called “16 Ways I Blew My Marriage” It was written by a man so I figured I could get a lot of information from it, showing new ways that I am right in our arguments, but my husband was wrong.
As I began reading (and continued through the entire list of 16), I realized this article actually detailed all the ways that I was creating strife and conflict in our marriage. It really did hit me hard and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this article the past few days. Below are a list of the 10 things from Dan’s article that I identified with the most with an explanation of how I am currently ruining things. You can find his complete post in the link above.
1. Don’t Stop Holding Hands
I am terrible at this. We held hands so much in the beginning, but now, not so much, and it is entirely my fault. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the fact that I have two littles vying for my hands now as well? I don’t know. Point is, I need to stop thinking that my kids are the only ones that need a little affection.
2. Don’t Stop Trying to Be Attractive
Guilty as charged again. As a kindergarten teachers most of clothes are practical and stained. On the week-ends I tend to wind up in khakis and jeans. I do have make-up and jewelry and nice clothes, which, for some reason I only wear when going out with friends. Why? Again, I don’t know, but maybe if I tried a little harder I would gain the confidence that I seem to be missing as well.
3. Don’t Always Point Out Weaknesses
For some reason I was under the assumption that all my nitpicking was good. In my head I was challenging him to be a better person. Now, I realize, I was just tearing down. I truly believe that spouses are supposed to challenge each other and you should want to be a better person for your spouse, but at what expense? Not at the expense of love, happiness, and self esteem.
4 & 5. Don’t Yell at Your Spouse or Call Names
This is the number one on my list. No explanation needed. I need to stop. Period. Especially in front of the kids. Enough said.
6. Don’t be Stingy With Your Money
I do this all the time. How many times do I spend $7 on a cup of coffee from Starbucks (yup, I said $7) only to yell at him for buying a soda at 7-11. I know why do it. I am a control freak. I need to be in control of EVERYTHING. Only I don’t. And I need to sit back, and let go sometimes.
7. Don’t Argue in Front of the Kids
I’m stealing Dan’s words here because I can’t write it better. “There was never any argument that was so important or pressing that we couldn’t wait to have it until the kids weren’t there. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist or super-shrink to know why fighting in front of the kids is a dangerous and selfish way of doing things.
8. Don’t Encourage Each Other to Skip Working Out
We should want each other to be the best versions of ourselves, and I would hope that he would do the same. Maybe, though, this is one of those things we can start doing together.
9. Don’t Stop Kissing
I know this isn’t just me and happens to most of my married friends. When you work full time and have two kids everything becomes a time crunch and I always feel like every minute of every day should be filled doing something useful and kissing simply takes up those minutes. But I have to remember that spending time connecting with my husband is also useful.
10. Don’t Stop Having Fun Together
The kids have great grandparents in the fact that they spend a lot of time over there and are usually gone one night a week. And what do we do? Watch TV, play on the computer, sleep. I have to remember that there are a ton of things we can do that don’t require money and would probably help build up our relationship.
So, now the challenge comes to start to make things better. Identification of the problem is half the battle, right?